Google Analytics basics for ride-hailing companies. Part 1
Do you know what makes companies successful in this world? Experience of the founder? Well, yes. Initial investments? Hmm, in some cases. Marketing strategy? Definitely. However, whatever success factors you consider, please remember that analytics is the basis.
What are the vital parts of your ride-hailing business? Give it a thought. You’re now probably thinking at least one of those:
- Stable technological platform
Not that many of us would name analytics, right? But if you’re among those who believe analytics is king, you definitely deserve a cookie!
Business owners often underestimate the importance of having the right data— while data is exactly what any business needs. You can have a great fleet, dedicated drivers, a stable platform, and a lot of money for marketing—and make it all worth nothing by ignoring data about your audience and market. No driver or marketer will ever make your business successful if you can’t make data-driven decisions and if you don’t know your real audience.
So let’s be clear: analytics is the cornerstone of your business. Can’t even emphasize this enough!
Never enough data
There’s, of course, elaborate data analytics in My hub. It can help you understand more about the company’s orders, drivers, and passengers. However, it doesn’t provide the full information on your app installs: not where it came from or what your audience looks like.
What to do? To learn more about your users and use your digital advertising more effectively, you need third-party analytics services like Google Analytics or Facebook Analytics.
Onde has been working with both tools till now. Unfortunately, it’s time to say goodbye to Facebook Analytics—it suspended its functionality from June 30. We have no idea about the reasons for it (it has nothing to do with Onde). Yet again, Facebook does what Facebook does, and we can’t do anything about it.
What we can do is to use Google Analytics. So let’s go through the tool and see which useful information is available there for you.
Google Analytics for mobile apps
Google Analytics is one of the leading analytical tools in the market. The platform has a very detailed manual, so if you feel like you need more practical information, make sure to check this link.
Google Analytics (GA) is free of charge, and you can integrate it with your Google Ads. This way, setting up conversions for your marketing campaigns and getting all the data from Google Ads to your reports will become even easier.
The tool can also provide you great answers about your audience, in-app actions, how much time people spend using your app, and much more. Knowing all this leads your business to better decisions.
Now, let’s look closer into what data you get with GA.
Audience demographics in Google Analytics
Knowing your app users is everything. So we start with demographics.
Go to the User menu tab, click Demographics, then Overview.
Before we actually start working, we need to define the desired time frames. Do we want to see monthly or weekly statistics? Or maybe you would like to see how users behaved just yesterday? It’s all possible.
In the top right corner of your screen, set the dates. You can also compare statistics within date ranges (just check the “Compare to” box).
Now you can see several graphs and diagrams showing:
- Where your users are from (countries and cities *for some locations, it might not show cities*)
- Users by gender
- Users by interests (if it’s possible in your region)
- Users’ age
- Users’ language.
Let’s explore some of these dimensions. Click on View countries to learn more about the location of your users.
Now you see your users’ distribution by country. But more importantly, you can find out where new users come from compared to the current ones; how many sessions users from different countries had; what their engagement rate and average engagement time are.
Engagement rate shows how many users from the total of those who installed your app actually used it for at least 10 seconds. This metrics is calculated as the total number of interactions with your app divided by the total number of installs. So the higher the number, the better.
Another cool Google Analytics metric in the Demographics tab is the total revenue you might get from users from particular countries. However, it doesn’t always give you pitch-perfect data, so it’s better not to expect too much from it.
Now, let’s take up the Users’ interests stats. This information available isn’t available for all countries in the world, but if you’re in a lucky location, here’s what your diagram should look like:
This graph shows that most of the users of an application have the following interests:
- Technology / Mobile
- Media & Entertainment
- Sports & Fitness.
There are more categories available in a detailed report on the same page.
How to use this? The next time you plan a campaign, select users from these categories of interests—and, most likely, those who see your ad will download your app. Also, you can use those insights as ideas for your content or business partnerships.
The Demographic section shows you information about the gender of your users, too. You might see three types of gender categories:
- Unknown (users who didn’t disclose their gender, so Google couldn’t add them to any of the above categories).
Even though most likely you’ll see the majority of your users in the Unknown category, the information on male and female users is still very useful for targeting your campaigns.
Another paramount section of Google Analytics is Acquisition. It shows the data about your new users.
Click Overview—and there’ll be several diagrams and reports available:
- Users and New users
- Users in last 30 minutes
- New users by User medium
- Sessions by Session medium
- Sessions by Session campaign
- Lifetime value
Users and New users graphs are very simple. You see the number of all users you have and the number of new app users for a certain period. It also shows you how many of them used your application day by day.
Another interesting dimension would be New users by User medium. User medium is a source of users. User medium is a general category, like Organic (users who found your app in app stores with search keywords) or CPC (cost-per-click, users found the app thanks to your advertising). This is what the graph looks like:
In the case above, we can see that Organic is the biggest source of new users which means the company doesn’t use any digital advertising. Another source is marked as None, and this means that Google doesn’t really know where these users came from: it could have been a link in some other mobile app, in a document, a browser bookmark, or whatever else.
Sometimes you might see a source called Not set—this might appear in your report for different reasons: using manual tags in your ads, invalid clicks, a redirect in the link, etc. If you’d like to learn more about the Not set source, check this page of Google Analytics.
Sessions by Session campaign graph is interesting to you if you use paid acquisition and launch campaigns on Google Ads. To get detailed information about your Google ads campaign, connect your accounts (and we will tell you how to do it 🤓).
This graph shows how many sessions the app got by advertising. Per campaign, the number of users, engaged sessions, clicks, conversions, cost per conversion, etc., are shown. Based on this data, you can decide whether to continue advertising with a particular Google Ads campaign, change it, or stop it as it costs a lot of money and doesn’t bring new clients.
Conversions is a crucial metric showing actions (aka events) users took with/within your app. There are different types of those, but apps have several standard ones:
For ride-hailing, tracking all conversions is difficult, so there’s actually only one really valuable event for you: first_open which tracks the event when the user opens the app for the first time.
To be continued...